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  • Quark Park must police itself
    By: Kara Fitzpatrick, Staff Writer 08/29/2006
    Staff photo by Mark Czajkowski
    The entrance to Quark Park on Paul Robeson Place is closed off by plastic fencing on Monday morning.
    Palmer Square says it never promised to provide security

       At the request of Palmer Square Management, the Princeton Borough Zoning Board of Adjustment on Thursday unanimously voted to remove a finding of fact in the previously approved application for Quark Park — the science-themed outdoor sculpture garden being created behind the Hulfish Street parking garage on Palmer Square property.
       The finding of fact, which was based on a statement by park creator Kevin Wilkes during the initial hearing in June, said that Palmer Square Management would provide security for the park. But representatives of Palmer Square Management said they never promised such a thing and asked that the record be corrected.
       "I think it's very important that we clarify the record," said Tom Letizia, a lawyer representing Palmer Square Management. "That sentence needs to be stricken."
       Mr. Wilkes acknowledged his mistake, adding that he had thought Palmer Square Management provided security for Writer's Block, an outdoor park erected in 2004 on Palmer Square property.
       "I was incorrect," Mr. Wilkes said. "Palmer Square has not made that offer and will not make that offer."
       Princeton Borough Police have said they will periodically check on the park as part of their regular patrols, Mr. Wilkes said in a statement following Thursday's meeting. In addition, park gates will be closed and locked at night to prevent unauthorized entrance.
       Quark Park will be open from dawn until 11 p.m. daily and admission is free of charge, except for specific fundraising events. The park is not permanent and will be removed by the end of November this year.
       Mr. Wilkes also announced after the meeting that Princeton University has donated $5,000 to Quark Park. The money is intended to help the park reach its financial goals in order for it to be completed by the Sept. 8 opening gala.
       "This donation comes at a critical time," Mr. Wilkes said. "We had lost a bit of financial momentum and this donation, along with two other private donations of $1,000 apiece, put us back in the black and will allow us to resume work."
       According to Mr. Wilkes, Quark Park has now raised almost $34,000 and is about $15,000 shy of the total amount needed for completion.
       The construction of an $8,000 stage and amphitheater still needs to be funded, Mr. Wilkes said, adding that a donor has offered to match funds for that project. "A gift now, directed toward the stage and seating, will reap double the money for Quark Park," he noted. "So please, we are still in need of donations from the public."

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